Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Bangkok: last day

This post consists more on rants ya...

Nothing much on the last day as always. Well, we have to take the cab to Don Mueang Airport by 12.30 pm so we had only like 2 hours max to roam around. After packing, checking out and leaving our luggage at the concierge, we walked to the nearest mall i.e. The Street for a last minute shopping. When we finally got a cab to the airport, I was feeling nostalgic... having to leave so soon... my holiday is ending... etc...

And then cab driver had to being cunning lah... trying to squeeze more money from us =.= Really?! On our last day?! Well, he claimed if we do not follow the meter, his flat rate would have been 300 Baht and he'll pay the tol. BUT as we wanted meter, upon reaching the tol, we paid 70 Baht. And then upon reaching the airport, meter showed 159 Baht and hubby gave him 200 Baht to keep the change. Instead, he INSISTED we pay him another 30 Baht!!!  Bloody hell!!! At first we didn't get it as we were dead tired. And then I realised, he wanted to make it up to his 300 Baht flat fee!!! BUGGER!!! We just had to meet a dishonest Thai on the last day of our trip! Definitely a turn off! As it is, we were already not feeling as much fun and excitement from this trip... so this definitely had us thinking of going to other places instead. No more Bangkok, maybe for another few years or so. Just stick to Phuket or the likes. Really... jeez!

The main thing we learned from this trip, try to stay nearer to the places we want to go to. Spending unnecessary money on the trains, though small, were actually a lot plus tiring plus time wasted. If we did not stay at Palazzo Hotel, perhaps stay somewhere in Pratunam or Sukhumvit area then we don't need to waste time taking the MRT. We can just take BTS to wherever we wanted to go. Definitely a lot of time and money saved. Well, the only reason why we stick to Palazzo Hotel is because of Lemongrass and Huay Kwang night market. I guess we have to change if we decide to go to Bangkok again in the near future.

The one thing I've observed, not sure if it's due to the poor currency, everything seemed more pricey. Food is still cheap but accessories, clothes, souvenirs, etc are expensive. I could easily get a dress for around 100 Baht previously but it's 200 Baht at least this time around. Mind you the local ones double the price ya. Also I kept converting it to RM so it's actually extra more pricey! This time around, I honestly can't shop as freely like the previous trips with everything so expensive with average to poor quality. I became more picky and spent more on worthy, quality stuff! In the end, our luggage was pretty light as we didn't buy much LOL!

A lot has changed since the last time we came to Bangkok. As mentioned before, more pricey, more tourists, over-commercialised, over-saturated and even night markets were different and expensive! Bangkok has evolved into a city of lights of some sorts, making it less localised and more westernised or touristy. Even this time around, we have chosen to walk more at the malls... well, aside from the heat, it seemed more safe and comfortable. We have always been to the streets and markets but seldom malls. So this time we walked until our hearts content in the malls LOL! Maybe as we grow older, malls are better options too... cooling as compared to outdoors with many sitting areas.

I guess we need to target other places aside from Bangkok from now on... need to save more $$$ to travel further! Japan? Australia? London perhaps?

So, until the next time we travel...

Monday, 24 July 2017

MPOV: Hollow City (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children #2)

My rating: 3/5
Goodreads rating: 4.1/5
Published: January 14, 2014
Author: Ransom Riggs
Genre: Young adult, horror, dark fantasy fiction

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was the surprise best seller of 2011—an unprecedented mix of YA fantasy and vintage photography that enthralled readers and critics alike. Publishers Weekly called it “an enjoyable, eccentric read, distinguished by well-developed characters, a believable Welsh setting, and some very creepy monsters.”

This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.

Complete with dozens of newly discovered (and thoroughly mesmerizing) vintage photographs, this new adventure will delight readers of all ages.

The above taken from Goodreads.

This is much more enthralling than book 1 with engaging plots and many new peculiars along the way which kept the momentum going. It was filled with much adventure from the start to the end but it left me hanging! I totally didn't expect that! But it did end with a closure for Jacob and his parents which I liked. The unexpected twist towards the end when Miss Peregrine was not actually a MISS had me at 'Oh ya hor!' LOL!!! Not forgetting those mesmerizing vintage photographs which added more depths to the story, making it more realistic and authentic.

I've rated this book 3/5 as the ending left me hanging like a cliffhanger! LOL! Now I have to quickly look for book 3, Library of Souls, to know the ending! Anyway, I thought I've found a typo but after Googling, it's otherwise...

Page 64: "See?" Emma said, grinning, "We're somewhen else!"

Somewhen - (adverb) in some time

Also a couple of quotes which got to me... especially when Jacob admitted to his dad which was very brave!
Emma to Jacob:
"What I believe is that when it comes to big things in life, there are no accidents. Everything happens for a reason. You're here for a reason - and it's not to fail and die."

Jacob to his father:
"No, Dad. I'm peculiar."

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Spotlight: Hanleigh Bradley

Recently, I was approached and has accepted to review a new romance novel. Though I have yet to receive it, here's a spotlight on the up and coming romance author, Hanleigh Bradley! 

Some words of wisdom from Hanleigh herself and an intro to her world which I find to be fascinating... another book lover! She even has a book review section on her website, www.hanleighbradley.co.uk! It's always nice to discover authors who are book lovers too!
Her new book, Damaged Intimacy, will be released on July 31st, 2017. You can pre-order now for only 99 cents from the links below.
Blurb:
Tallulah is a happy, bubbly, excitable girl or at least that's what everyone else thinks. Inside... Inside she's a mess. She's holding it together, but she's got a secret, a secret that she can't tell anyone. A secret that makes her skin crawl and leaves her crying herself to sleep. She tells herself she'll be okay. That she can cope. She can forget about how damaged she is. Then she meets Jarrod, her best friend's boyfriend's best friend and he's everything she's ever wanted except she isn't the girl she used to be and now she doesn't think she deserves what she once wanted.

Links:
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2sJpiZc (if you have amazon associates please feel free to use your own links)
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2tHnbm0

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

MPOV: War for the Planet of the Apes

My rating: 4/5
IMDb rating: 8.2/10
Released: July 14, 2017
Director: Matt Reeves
Casts: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Amiah Miller, Steve Zahn, Judy Greer
Category: A 2017 American science fiction drama film

Some time after the U.S. military was called to fight off an increasingly intelligent and dangerous army of apes, the apes' clan, led by the chimpanzee Caesar, is attacked by a military faction known as Alpha-Omega. Caesar's clan hides in Muir Woods, and Caesar offers the humans peace if the apes are left alone. This conflict has become further complicated as various apes, including the gorilla Red (a former follower of Koba, who previously led a failed coup against Caesar), have joined Alpha-Omega after being disillusioned with Caesar's leadership and out of fear of retaliation from Caesar due to their betrayal. Learning that Alpha-Omega follows the leadership of a mysterious Colonel, Caesar makes plans to relocate the clan across the desert, not wanting to suffer any more ape casualties after Koba's wrath on San Francisco. The night before their journey, Alpha-Omega launches an assault on the ape home and Caesar's wife Cornelia and their eldest son Blue Eyes are slaughtered by the Colonel, leaving only Caesar's youngest son Cornelius alive.

Leaving Cornelius in the care of Lake, the mate of the late Blue Eyes, Caesar departs to confront the Colonel. He is accompanied only by Maurice the orangutan, Luca the gorilla and Rocket the chimpanzee, while the other apes head for the desert. Confronting traitorous albino gorilla Winter, they learn that the Colonel has departed for a location called the "border". The group is forced to silence Winter by asphyxiating him, which causes Caesar to worry he is becoming like Koba. During their journey, they are forced to kill a human living alone in an abandoned village, but when they discover his young daughter, apparently unable to speak, Maurice insists that they take her with them. Further along, they discover some Alpha-Omega soldiers that have been shot and abandoned. Their examination of a survivor reveals that he, like the girl, cannot speak. In an abandoned souvenir shop, the group meets Bad Ape, a chimpanzee hermit who lived in the Sierra Zoo before he was exposed to the Simian Flu virus. Bad Ape is able to direct them to the border, a former weapons depot that was turned into a containment facility when the virus began to spread.

When the group arrives at the border facility, Luca is killed by an Alpha-Omega patrol, prompting Caesar to enter the facility alone. However, he is captured shortly after learning that the rest of his ape clan have been caught by the Colonel. Witnessing his fellow apes being forced to build a wall with no food or water, Caesar confronts the Colonel, who reveals that the Simian Flu virus has evolved further and is now causing some surviving humans to become mute and regress back to a primitive mentality. The Colonel barricades himself into the facility to fend off rival military forces coming to execute him, as he favors killing any infected humans – including his own son – while others believe that a cure is still possible. At the labor camp Caesar is threatened by the Colonel with his life to persuade the apes to keep working. Lake intervenes, encouraging the other apes to get back to work in order to spare Caesar.

During an interview with MTV News in mid-November 2014, Andy Serkis talked about possible sequels: "It might be three films, it could be four. It could be five. Who knows? The journey will continue." In October 2016, it was announced that a fourth Planet of the Apes film is being planned.

The above taken from Wikipedia.

This is by far the most realistic and relevant movie, totally resonates with me. With the incredible computer graphics and engaging plots, the movie transcends to various locations smoothly with an impressive casts especially the little mute girl acted by Amiah Miller. I was so taken into the movie, with the cinema so cold that I felt I'm in the movie too! LOL! With the addition of funny Bad Ape, there was a little of everything in this movie which was enthralling! Apparently the fourth film is being planned so I can't wait to see what's next since Caesar has passed on.

FYI, while watching the movie, there were a couple of monkeys at the back of the cinema who were sarcastic of some scenes involving the apes. Honestly, if you are not favourable of such movie, please don't watch it then and made an arse of yourself! Damn noisy lot of hooligans!

Apes are definitely more humane than humans!

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Bangkok: day 3

This was a much disappointed walkathon at first as I actually have a shopping list for this day especially stocking up for my bazaar and crafts. I had planned for Platinum Mall and then Palladium Mall. After which we could dropped by Dasa Book Cafe before heading back to the hotel. Unfortunately, it all went south.

Platinum Mall has changed into a tourist destination with much touristy appeal. I could not locate much local products as it was 99% from China plus the prices have increased tremendously! Nothing wholesale was as cheap or affordable anymore. Also it was so crowded, filled with so many tourists especially from China buying China made products in Platinum Mall Bangkok. Hmmm... how weird is that! So in the end, we left empty handed, can you believe that??? Platinum Mall = empty handed!!!

Anyway, we didn't even go to Palladium as it's on the opposite side of the main road and we have to cross the busy intersection so in the end, we scraped that off purely for our safety and we were darn tired. We switched to Central World as we find it more appealing for us and there seemed to be many bazaars outside the mall which turned out for the positive... loads of local food and some local products... nice to browse through though a little too hot.

The plus point here which I truly liked was the overhead walk path connecting from the Chit Lom BTS station to all the shopping malls! That had me in awe! No need to cross the busy streets below, no need to rush for the tuk tuk, no need umbrella! Just walked across the overhead path in peace and shaded! So I was wondering when they will connect it to Palladium so that we don't have to risk our lives crossing that busy intersection!

Some photos here taken from that overhead walk path:


So near yet so far... passing by Palladium from opposite after exploring our options and decided not to cross...
We had lunch at Platinum Mall's food court first before crossing over to Central World. Though no more free tissues with high level of noisiness, the food is still good and is the cheapest amongst the food courts we have been to.
Platinum Mall food court
We had these yummy, fresh grilled prawns at the Central World outdoor bazaar!
After checking out the bazaars outside and filled our tummy with fresh prawns and coconut water for tea time, we went inside Central World and another walkathon ensued until we noticed the cinema! Spider-Man, here we come! You can read my full review of the movie here:
http://www.sholee.net/2017/07/mpov-spider-man-homecoming.html
Spider-Man: Homecoming @ SF Cinema, Central World
Central World sure is a big mall! We didn't finished walking after the movie and just looked for dinner. In the end, we settled for MOS Burger as we never had it before and it's not available in Malaysia. It was steep in pricing compared to McDonald's but the burger was awesome! Crispy salted fries with fresh tasty patties, it was definitely way better, really delicious and good!
MOS Burger, Central World
All in all, it ended on a high as Central World made up the boo hoos we had. Also, we went to Huay Kwang night market before going back to the hotel. After a good walk and some supper, we hit the sack, not looking forward to the next day which was our last day in Bangkok. Sad but true.

Next: last day

Monday, 17 July 2017

Bangkok: day 2

This was the day I looked forward to the most! Well, it's the obvious since we are visiting TrueLove @ Neverland! If you've never heard before, TrueLove @ Neverland is a dog cafe where you can meet Siberian Huskies! Loads of them! We can touch, pet, hug and play with the dogs... such an endearing visit which had me pumped up!
The above info was Googled
We took the train from Huay Kwang MRT station to Ari BTS station and then walked about 20 mins to the secluded cafe guided by Waze. Thank goodness for Waze! Very reliable! Also we went for the first session i.e. 12.30 pm so it wasn't as hot as we reached just before noon and it wasn't crowded yet.

Upon reaching the cafe, we had to queue to buy our tickets plus filling up a form. After that we were shown to our table. Each ticket has a table number assigned to us so no free seating ya! The ticket costs 350 Baht and has 2 stubs i.e. 1 for a drink and the other for a slice of cake which have been included into the price.
The queue when we arrived... not sure why the photo cacat...
Our table no. 20... waiting impatiently while feasting on ice-cream cake and iced drink.

I have actually taken some videos when the owner was feeding them carrots... so cute and endearing! Not sharing it here though as the files are quite big. I've only took photos of this male alpha as he was truly a diva! You can see how clingy and cute he was trying to get extra carrots LOL!!!

After watching some rules and regulations, we were allowed to go in and I felt overwhelmed! Finally! Meeting Hachiko's distant relatives LOL!!! We took many photos but I loved this the most! This fella actually licked me jaw! I was so in awe, not relenting to let go after that but there were others waiting in line... sigh!
After all the furriness, we decided to leave around 2 pm before the next session starts. We called for a tuk tuk to the BTS station which cost only 40 Baht and took the train to MBK Center. As we were famished, after scouring the whole mall for BarBQ Plaza but to no avail, we have settled for this. It definitely looked different, something we never had before so we gave it a shot and thankfully, it turned out nice and delicious. Not forgetting, their staffs were also attentive and everything was served promptly. 2 thumbs up from me!

For more details, you can check out their Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/SukiNumber1/
Sukiyaki Number 1, MBK Center
After another round of walkathon, we saw this small, unassuming cafe with the price half of Starbucks. It seemed local, not sure but the coffee was good with a nice hangout ambience to rest our feet! Can you believe that our total bill for 2 coffee below was 105 Baht?!!! So worth it!!!

Here's their Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cafe-Amazon-MBK/1004425939672927
Cafe' Amazon, MBK Center
After we were done with MBK, we headed back to the hotel to shower and then go to Lemongrass for a massage before dinner. It was so heavenly having an hour of foot massage after all those torture of walking endlessly! We have always favoured Lemongrass due to it's authenticity and value for money plus it's just a few minutes walk from our hotel.
Dinner at another roadside shop ala big fry 'dai chou' style. We came here before in year 2013 but this time around, not sure if we were too tired, it wasn't as good... just average and a little more expensive.

Next: day 3 @ Platinum Mall

Friday, 14 July 2017

CSM: Adoption drive this Sunday

If you are looking for a pet dog, please adopt and not buy. You can check out the adoption drive this Sunday at Jaya One, info below:
For more details, please click on the link below:
https://www.facebook.com/MalaysianDogsDeserveBetter/

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